Progressive Group Plans Protest at Obama Campaign Headquarters

By Eliza

Jul 14, 2011 4:30pm

gty barack obama campaign money dm 110713 wb Progressive Group Plans Protest at Obama Campaign Headquarters

ABC News’ Devin Dwyer (@devindwyer) reports:  

A group of liberal Democrats who fundraised and volunteered for Barack Obama in 2008 plans to protest Friday outside his reelection campaign headquarters in Chicago.

Organizers with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal PAC, say they will attempt to deliver 200,000 signatures on a pledge to withhold support from the president if he consents to cuts to federal entitlement programs.

“We’re hoping Jeremy Bird or Jim Messina will come down to accept it,” said PCCC spokesman Neil Sroka, a former Obama campaign staffer hired by Bird in 2008.  Bird is the national field director for the campaign; Messina is the campaign manager.

“What I learned on that campaign is that there’s nothing more important to the Obama campaign than its volunteers,” Sroka said. “They’re the heart and soul of it. “

Signatories to the pledge, who claim to have donated more than $17 million and 2.6 million volunteer hours in 2008, are threatening to close their wallets and stay home in 2012 if Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits are changed in a deficit reduction deal with Republicans.

“Don't ask for a penny of my money or an hour of my time in 2012,” if there are cuts, the pledge reads.  “I'm going to focus on electing bold progressive candidates who will fight to protect our Democratic legacy." 

Sroka said a small group of activists will approach the campaign’s headquarters near Millennium Park with posters and signs, but said it wouldn’t be a “huge rally.” They plan to enter the building lobby and demand to access to campaign officials, he added.

President Obama in 2008 encouraged his grassroots supporters to “hold me and other elected officials more accountable for their actions."

Sroka said he hopes Obama’s top campaign managers will at the very least acknowledge their plea. “We would like a commitment from them to taking the message directly to Obama,” he said.

The campaign announced Wednesday that a record 552,000 supporters donated to Obama’s reelection campaign in the second quarter.  The number of 2008 supporters now threatening to withhold support would be one third of that total.

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